I’ll come straight to the point.
I’ve come to recognize other women like myself who have tried to protect themselves by denying the truth of trauma, abuse or sexual addiction in their lives or their spouses’ lives. But the protection we think we create actually prolongs our pain and hurts those we love as well. Yes, it is painful to deal with our experiences, both present and past, but the cost down the road is much greater if we don’t.
I wish I could shout it.
Look at the fruit of our denial in our children. I understand the despair, but we can’t be afraid to look at the truth. When we struggle, lost in a hurting, hopeless world, our children also take on our pain. Even if we aren’t aware or think we will keep them from it.
I know. I’ve been there.
I put my kids through hell because I allowed myself to be blind to the abuse in which we were living. I am to blame for my choices that put us there and kept us trapped. Even years later, my heart aches for them. I failed miserably to give them a solid foundation of what healthy relationships look like. They went into their adulthood with tremendous pain and anger behind them and little training of how to navigate a future marriage.
I’ve watched them live my broken life in many ways.
I never intended for my kids to take that kind of past into their future. The pain inflicted upon them was far greater than I imagined. I didn’t realize how badly they were hurt because of the trauma of their parents’ lives.
But I was more afraid of facing my past pain…
…more afraid of being divorced than of an abusive marriage…
…more afraid of what people thought than what my children needed…
…more afraid of my shame than if my family functioned well…
We can’t even count the price for those choices, and the longer it goes on, the higher the cost, as if interest is added.
But there’s good news.
Surrender and repentance changes everything.
God waits for us to surrender to him so he can uncover our festering wounds, bind them with his loving touch, and lead us into a place of healing and wholeness.
We must be willing to open our eyes to the truth, repent of bad choices and turn around into a new way of thinking and living.
God promises us that when we come to him in broken repentance and surrender, he doesn’t condemn or shame us. His love for us, exhibited through Jesus’s death on the cross and resurrection, covers us, soothes our soul and protects us with true safety.
However, doing so requires a difficult choice for us.
We must let go of our pride, fear and self-reliance. We must step out in faith with even a tiny step, believing that God will meet us as he promises. We must allow ourselves to experience the pain of our past and present, grieve the losses and move into our future.
But the exchange for us and our families is worth it.
I think of it like this:
When one of my children was very young, they couldn’t grasp the concept of exchanging their pennies for a coin of equal value. Five pennies seemed much better to them than a nickel, two nickels trumped a dime and no way would they give up any combination of coins for a quarter!
Our perception of what we are giving up is skewed by our limited understanding.
And God gives us even more than an equal share! He offers us a massive sundae dripping with fudge and topped with whipped cream, nuts and a cherry if we will hand over our McDonald’s soft serve cone.
There’s really no comparison, is there?
Be brave. Take action. Step into your future and shed your past.
Make a way for generations after you to be healthier, happier and living a hot fudge sundae life.